When Minnie and Kimmie travel to see The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975), they meet two drag queens outside the cinema. The taller of the two is Joshua Grannell, a popular San Francisco film-maker and drag queen who performs under the name "Peaches Christ". See more »
Periode piece not without merit, but doomed by unlikable characters
In many ways a period piece, this indie film captures a very special time period in San Francisco, a time when counterculture flourished and withered, people experimented and abused all kinds of substances, and teen artist Minnie experiences a lot of firsts, in the eternal search for acceptance, love, and a sense of purpose.
In spite of a brave, earnest, and raw performance by a deliberately exposed Bel Powley, very believable as a teenager in the aforementioned period, and of a subtle, nuanced and understatedly magnetic one by the great Alexander Skarsgård, this movie falls short because its characters are sadly just a bit too immature, selfish, and unlikable.
While that sounds very much like the typical description of the stereotypical youth, it remains nonetheless a major fault in the script how unsympathetic Minnie is throughout, with no real point of self-reflection or regrets over some of her actions, refusing to deal with the consequences of even her more heinous ones.
Surrounded by egotistical, likewise emotionally stunted, at times manipulative adults, it may be no wonder that the main character is unable to learn or grow much, but the level of navel-gazing is still a bit too grating, with the protagonist of this clearly autobiographical story experiencing life events without any sort of moral compass whatsoever.
The film drags towards the end, perhaps because of the fragmented, increasingly hazy way the story is told as the movie progresses, but also because by then we care very little about the fate of the different characters. Though this intimate film does hit some high notes in terms of mood, acting, and cinematography, the end result is unsatisfying.
(+) The reconstruction of 70's San Francisco is very well done. Some of the scenes really hit the point. Mood and color palette also well done.
(-) Unsympathetic characters, starting with the amoral, self- centered protagonist, doom the movie.
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